😂 I got catfished on Bumble...and it was pretty sad 😂 / Nov 14 2019

December is truly the best time of the year. It’s a wet dream for me, Tito Boy. December usually means I’m done with the semester, I’m done with Zine Orgy, I lose contact with 90% of my friends in Elbi because they go back home (which is a really good thing for me, who’s self-diagnosed for FOMO), and the only thing that’s left for me to worry about is the yearly BLTX in QC.

It’s a time for rest, it’s a time for anime, it’s a time for thinking about the perfect excuses for still not being able to give out Christmas presents to your entire clan despite being, well, a working (vomit emoji) adult. To be fair, I just graduated last June and I’ve already resigned from two jobs since April, and I’m BARELY getting by as a freelancer so yes, technically I am what? Baby.

Anyway, a few weeks from now I celebrate the anniversary of the time I got catfished on Bumble. It was a very fun, kinda sad experience for everyone involved, and I’m here to talk about it because I have a gazilion other writing deadlines that I obviously don’t want to do. November is always the busiest era of my life, and come December my brain is so fried that I run out of ways to creatively spend my time.

So I was on Bumble to make friends, maybe secretly hoping to match with a male or female or whatever Computer Science graduate (with a 2.0 GWA at the very LEAST) who can collaborate with me and spend the rest of their life with me building the next SciHub and PirateBay and basically making the Internet a better place. That’s not what happened but…it came pretty close.

I matched with this guy named Zero—not his name on Bumble or in real life—who said he was a BS Information Systems grad from DLS-College of Saint Benilde. I small talked the fuck outta this dude who said he thought it was cool that I was planning to pursue a career in New Media/Internet shenanigans. We’d eventually talk on Messenger regularly, but he wouldn’t allow friend requests because he had a “bad experience” with a previous Bumble match. I was like, ok.

Zero was a nice guy. It’s so funny because he was such a bro…like he listened to Jcole, played PS4 and computer games when he’s not at work, etc. He liked MEMES. He also talked to me about a girl he really liked on Bumble, and I was actually mutuals with this person on Twitter. I was like, ok, we get it you’re straight. So I got comfortable with speaking to this stranger because I knew we’d never actually capital L “like” each other. We didn’t have anything in common! So yay, I made a friend!

Of course, I’m gonna historically revise this narrative and ignore the fact that he actually sent me clips of him singing Ariana Grande songs, and that I, a young confused asexual who just wanted to please his new programmer friend, would send him back clips of Eartha Kitt’s version of Santa Baby aka the ONLY version. He once invited me to go his birthday party in Taguig at 1AM (supposedly the first time we’ll ever meet, said he’d pay for the Grab), which I’m glad I refused because my parents and I were going to Quiapo the next morning.

Our friendship would stretch to more than 4 months, I think? And it only really lasted that long because guess what motherfuckers! In a time of need and desperation, he actually offered to help me figure out MS Word while I was formatting my thesis. He’d end up formatting like 90% of my thesis, which I now find super hilarious because there’s a catfish’s name in the Acknowledgements of my hardbound thesis. (cue: Eraserheads - Ligaya.mp3)

I owed him big time, and I thought the LEAST that I could do was to NOT block him on all social media platforms. I failed that challenge, though, because I ended up blocking the guy like…two times since our online friendship started. I kept telling him, “You’re not even REAL.” He had a face, and a “personality”, a voice, but…I’d never met the person. He didn’t know any of my friends. That’s why I felt perfectly comfortable talking to him about anything. Whenever he’d ask me about my day, I’d shit out a Danielle Steel book. This same comfort turned into frustration, which made it easier to cut ties.

Fast forward to our last few weeks in the virtual space: I was asking him advice about building my new website. It was also around the same time Twitter friends would DM me out of nowhere, and asked me if I knew a certain person named Zero. While he was talking to me about buying a domain, and promising to help me build my site from scratch in a host called InfinityFree, some Twitter birds were questioning my friendship with Zero, and warning me that he might actually be a catfish.

I denied it. I was like, “Nooo sis I think he’s just…shy? Like he’s a real person but he doesn’t want to show his real face!” (I was a FOOL.) They informed me that there was already a Telegram groupchat of all women who were clowned by Zero—all from Bumble—and if I wanted to join, I could contribute in the catfish #discourse. I forgot all the details in between, but I vaguely remember agreeing to partake in this witch hunt because I felt excited playing the role of the ‘spy’—I was still friends with Zero, and I wanted revenge! (read: uncover the truth, take off the mask like in Scooby Doo.)

Wasn’t difficult to agree that this guy was a catfish because we’d find inconsistencies in his worlding, that we’ve all NEVER seen him in person, and that this motherfucker actually sent all four of us the same voice clips of him singing Ariana Grande.

I’m gonna be honest, during those times, I don’t think I felt the same level of betrayal with all the girls against Zero. He just wanted to help me, he’d always say to me. And he’d feel bad whenever he’d fail at doing something he said he’d promise to help me with. I felt so complicit to this entire mess when all I really wanted was just someone to help me build my goddamn website from scratch.

It was through this website collaboration that I would find his IP address (this information was stored everytime he logged in on my website-related accounts), and eventually figure out that he was lying the whole time, that he actually lived in Cavite and not a high-rise condo in Taguig, bla bla bla. The best part is when one of my co-catfish victims googled the meaning behind Zero’s fake surname and Urban Dictionary said it meant: fuckboy, a player. (I mean, we were played alright 😭)

Zero knew we were onto him, and soon enough he deactivated his Twitter, his Instagram account that only followed Rihanna, and cleared all inboxes on Telegram. His Facebook is still there, almost like a ghost, but mostly a threat that he would one day decide to go back. I mean, he’s probably using his Facebook account now for Tinder or whatever, under a different name, and nobody would actually notice.

My takeaway from this entire experience is that…the world is a sad place. This guy had literally nothing to gain from me I think, and he’d spent so much time trying to help me, entertain me. For what? It’s so crazy to me that this person had to make a fake identity just to be able to connect to people. It’s fucked up, Tito Boy. I would have welcomed him if he tried to scam me for money. Like, by all means ma’am please steal $100 from my Paypal, that would’ve been soooo much easier to process.

Anyway, it’s over now. Me and the other catfish survivors are living our lives. We’ve been though worse.

To Zero, if you’re reading this…please don’t leak my Santa Baby voice clips. 😭 😭 / Leave a comment